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Hillside communities seek police protection

October 26, 2016 By Emmanuel Okyne (Intern)

Residents of hillside communities in Freetown, including Dworzack, Omolay Bush in the New England Ville community, Sumaila Town, and Leicester Road are calling on the Sierra Leone Police to provide them with adequate security, as they complain about persistent harassment by hoodlums of youth.

Mariama Kargbo of Sumaila Town told Concord Times that some youth gangs are always in the habit of attacking women late at night, dispossessing them of their properties.

Madam Kargbo cited an incident in which some youth gangs attacked a middle aged woman and snatched away her bag containing some items.

She said the gangs usually lay wait in dark and isolated routes where they attack female petty traders as they make their way home late in the evenin.

She said the criminal gangs take advantage of the rugged terrain, and appealed to the police to undertake regular night patrols in the community.

Another resident in the community, Issa Bangura, told Concord Times that they would have no option but to organise themselves into vigilante groups if the police fail to provide adequate security.

“We are having sleepless nights in this community because these criminals are creating a hell lot of problem for us,” he said.

James Koroma, also from the Sumaila Town community, claimed that some of the cliques have migrated to the hill top communities after the police started cracking down on their activities.

However, Head of the Sierra Leone Police Media, ASP Brima Kamara, had told the public that they conduct regular security patrols on a daily basis, albeit they do patrol certain areas based on tips they receive from people.

He said the success of the police in tackling insecurity depends largely on cooperation they receive from the community, adding that their men cannot be everywhere at the same time.

The police media boss said they work in consonant with the Local Police Partnership Board to tackle insecurity in communities.

He, however, acknowledged that their men at times find it extremely difficult to patrol hillside communities as a result of the rugged terrain, adding that the police welcomes the idea of youth organising themselves into vigilantly groups, but cautioned that they must do so in consonant with the Sierra Leone Police.

He categorically said that the police would not tolerate any form of mob justice and that whoever is suspected of being a criminal should be handed over to the police.

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